Wanted: Ideas for how to use SK gas stations

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Wanted: Ideas for how to use SK gas stations


SK Innovation, Korea’s largest gas station operator, is taking ideas for how to use the extra space and resources at its 3,600 gas stations until the end of next month.

The company said Thursday that it is making an open call for ideas on how to share the infrastructure at its gas stations, including physical assets like gas pumps, car washing equipment, office space and extra land, as well as intangible assets like marketing expertise and big data accumulated through membership cards like SK Enclean.

SK Energy, the subsidiary of SK Innovation in charge of the gas stations, will still operate the gas pumps, but the company hopes to maximize the use of its other spaces for future ventures.

Some possible examples include converting unused office space into logistics centers for start-ups, adding chargers for electric cars and developing software that analyzes customers’ refueling and driving patterns.

The company said the move is part of efforts to generate shared value with other businesses.

“Creating social value is not an option but a must for firms to survive,” SK Chairman Chey Tae-won said at a meeting with executives in October.

SK has since pursued ways to share its assets with outside parties, including suppliers, start-ups and consumers. Sharing its gas stations is the first of SK’s moves to contribute to society by opening up its infrastructure.

The company will take ideas through Jan. 30 and create eight business models from the suggestions. SK Energy will then offer joint business opportunities to people who gave the selected ideas.

“By opening up more of SK’s assets as shared infrastructure, we will spearhead creating an open business ecosystem,” said Kim Jun, chief executive of SK Innovation.

The company recently created teams dedicated to expanding shared infrastructure through a year-end organizational overhaul. The ultimate goal, SK Innovation said, is to establish win-win business models for the company and society.

BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]
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